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At Disney Studios these days, one, cant help but feel the hulking shadow looming over Never-Never Land. The best efforts of the studios New Guard.-in goosing up the bland and squeaky Disney image (DRAGONSLAYER, WATCHER IN THE WOODS, NIGHT CROSSING) have all met with critical and financial "So whats?" On the upside, however, is one of the more ambitious and promising products in the studios pipeline, the $15 million version of Ray Bradburys SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.

Produced by Peter Douglas (see 12:1:8), who produced THE FINAL COUNTDOWN, Bradburys wispy horror fable of a dark carnival fueled by human misery and greed will flicker across movie screens in December. Once again, the studio is pulling very hard for it being the film they can take to the bank.

Considering the off-kilter talent involved behind and before the camera, the film gives cause for considerable optimism. In the pivotal position is a maverick English director who tends to make films only when he falls in love with the material. Jack Clayton (ROOM AT THE TOP, THE INNOCENTS) has been connected with SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES for six years, and if his enthusiasm has waned, one couldnt read it in the his larger-thanlife, Dickensian appearance.

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